The mother of two boys who were found severely beaten at an Ohio motel has been charged with murder after one of them died.
The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported that a 5-year-old was tied up for 22 hours in a wooded area and was struck around his head and body. However, it seems the boy never left his motel room or their mother’s presence.
The boy and his 6-year-old brother were found after police officers responded to a 911 call in Middletown, Ohio.
Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, 26, and another woman, 29-year-old Rachael Bostian, were charged with murder felonious assault, and endangering children. Their bond was set for $1 million.
A third woman, Bostian’s mother, 56-year-old Ramona Bostian, was charged with assault and endangerment. Her bond is $500,000.
Middletown police Maj. Mark Hoffman told WDTN-TV said Thursday that investigators think that the boys were wrapped in a blanket and beaten after one took food.
Preliminary hearings for each of the women were set for Friday, May 6. “This is going to a preliminary hearing,” Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser told FOX19 last week. “I want the public to see this case as early as possible.”
When officers arrived, they found evidence of abuse.
“This was a horrific event,” said Major Mark Hoffman, the assistant chief of the Middletown police.
“It’s the worst that I’ve seen, anybody on the scene has seen.”
— Cameron Knight (@ckpj99) April 29, 2016
Police officers, emergency medical technicians, and doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wept after they saw the boys’ injuries, he added.
“(It was) nothing short of torture,” said one detective, according to WLWT.
Police said they found no evidence of drugs at either the campsite or motel.
Cincinnati.com has more on the initial report:
Responding officers found a 5-year-old boy suffering from life-threatening injuries. Officers administered first aid to the child before paramedics arrived.
The boy was taken to the Atrium Medical Center, then transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati because of the seriousness of the injuries.
The deceased boy’s grandfather, Michael Stephens, told FOX19 that “I wish they get all that they deserve and then more.”
A recording of the 911 call was also released. A woman who called herself “Rachael” requested medical assistance:
“We have a child that stopped breathing. Um, he-we were camping in the woods and he escaped the tent when we were sleeping and he was gone for a couple of days and some kids got a hold of him and messed him up real bad and we didn’t realize how bad it was.”
She then told the dispatcher: “Please hurry.”
“Is he alive?” the dispatcher asked her.
“Yes, we’re, we’ve-he stopped breathing, but we’re doing chest compressions and CPR and he’s responding to it.”
“Are you the mother?”
“No, ma’am, the mother is the one that’s taking care of him.”
The older boy remains hospitalized with serious injuries.
“My son can’t even hardly speak. He’s just hurting. The whole family is,” Michael Stephens told FOX19.